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The herbicide known as 'Agent Orange' (dioxin) was used by the US military in Vietnam between 1962 and 1971. The chemical, which defoliates vegetation, was sprayed over large portions of that country in order to reduce both the natural cover available to guerrilla fighters as well as the rural population's food supply. The herbicide, however, caused significant and continuing health problems in many Vietnamese residents and US troops exposed during the spraying. The federal Veterans Administration worked with the California Department of Veterans Affairs to disseminate factual information regarding the health issues surrounding exposure to Agent Orange, and to provide referral information regarding screening and treatment. To further these goals, the California Department of Veterans Affairs produced several public service announcements (PSAs) about Agent Orange. These PSAs featured actors Loretta Swit, Mike Farrell, Jamie Farr, and Bill Christopher from the popular television show 'M*A*S*H, in an effort to increase their effectiveness and reach a wider audience.
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